SoCal family given chance to say goodbye to mother dying from COVID-19

A family was able to say goodbye to their dying mother at a Pasadena hospital after medical rules initially prohibited them from visiting.
PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- A family was able to say goodbye to their dying mother at a Pasadena hospital after medical rules initially prohibited them from visiting.

For days Laurie Kilmartin and her family have been talking to their loved one through iPads and iPhones as she stays in a hospital room alone.

"We just kept saying hang on mom," Kilmartin said. "We're coming. Hang in there. Please don't go yet, please don't go yet."

Kilmartin's mother had a bad hip injury three weeks ago. She had to recover at a skilled nursing home, and it's there she contracted COVID-19.

"When we knew we had to put her in one for strength building, they're all closed or they all have had COVID outbreaks, so they're not taking any people," Kilmartin said. "I was given two options, and one was an hour away and one was kind of close. And I picked the close one, and they had a COVID outbreak."

Sick and dying at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Kilmartin's mother was without family for three weeks. Kilmartin said the hospital initially wasn't returning their calls.

Kilmartin is a comedian and her sister is a physician. Together, they rallied both of their communities.

After rallying friends and colleagues to get the attention of hospital administration, they were given the chance to say goodbye.

The family reached out and were able to get inside on Monday, the first day family members were allowed inside due to strict COVID-19 rules.

A representative for Huntington Memorial Hospital tells Eyewitness News they're "thankful and grateful to have adequate PPE for the near future to keep our patients, caregivers and the few allowed visitors safe."

Like many other hospitals, PPE shortages have forced minimal visitors, if any at all.

Kilmartin said her family is grateful for the hospital staff who have been treating her mother.
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